Rachmadea Aisyah, Jakarta – The wholesale purchase of domestically produced salt for manufacturing purposes is expected to remain stagnant this year even though demand has actually increased, with the quality of salt produced by local farmers failing to meet industry standards.
Domestic demand for industrial salt is estimated to stand at 3.5 million tons per year, but the Industry Ministry has revealed that it would distribute only 1.1 million tons of domestic salt for manufacturing purposes for the 2019-2020 period.
The target remains unchanged from the previous period when the realized figure barely missed the target at 1.05 million tons.
Industry Minister Airlangga said the low absorption of domestic salt by local manufacturers was due to its poor quality and farmers' inability to satisfy industrial standards.
Salt used in manufacturing requires a 97 percent sodium chloride content, whereas most domestic salt comprises only 94 percent sodium chloride or even less, he explained.
"The key to improving this industry is in its quality, and the state budget has allocated [funds] for improvement through the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry," Airlangga said on Tuesday.
"We certainly hope that the absorption rate will keep increasing because there is actually a lot of demand for salt."